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Contenders Trials EU Preview: Shu’s Euro Crew, & a new Flame in Copenhagen

Much like their North American counterparts, the European Contenders Trials teams have been given a chance to prove – or reprove – their mettle. Unlike their fellow gamers across the pond, EU Trials will be streamed by Broadcast.gg! That makes my job as a writer (and your job as a voracious consumer of Overwatch) that much easier.

Even so, you might not necessarily know every last team, or every last player on those teams. Like the NA scene, many rosters have been completely reworked to give themselves the best chance of making it into Contenders. Once again, that’s where I come in! Read on for some insight as to who these guys are, and their chances to surviving the gauntlet that is Contenders Trials.

 

Fight for Your Life


Tea and Biscuits (formerly Operation Spawn Camp)

Roster Changes – None

While this team is comprised largely of unknowns, Tea and Biscuits nevertheless put up an impressive showing in Open Division. Their second place finish was only marred by two losses to Shu’s Money Crew – once in the Winner’s Finals and again in the Grand Finals. In that sense, they have a lot in common with Phase 2 – but the comparison stops there. Both of their losses against SMC were not close, at least going by the stat lines – a 3-0 and a 4-0. A lot can change when a Contenders spot is on the line, though, so the ol’ T&B is by no means out of the race before its begun, especially with a matchup against Copenhagen Flames on Saturday.

 

SMC EU

Roster Changes – None

Tea and Biscuits’ Open Division run was pretty good. When describing the European variant of Shu’s Money Crew’s Open Division, though, words like “close to perfect” spring to mind. Throughout the playoffs, they dropped two maps. That’s it. Like their American counterparts, SMCEU are entering Trials with some confidence. It’s not exactly misplaced, either.

SMC have some veteran names on the roster, having largely come together in That’s a Disband or Bazooka Puppies before ending up under Shu’s wing. The experience has served them well, and will hopefully mean they have a better time of things than the OGs are. Keep an eye on Raymond “Kolsti” Tea – he’s a grizzled vet at this point, and has given his Crew quite the edge lately. The Shus face off against Bazooka Puppiez on Saturday.

 

HSL Esports

Roster Changes

Tank: Milkyman released; Progi and Kraandop signed

Support: Mono signed

A third-place Open Division finish is nothing to sneeze at, but HSL might need a little more oomph to make it to Contenders this season. Tea and Biscuits swept this team twice, and they, in turn, were swept by Shu’s Money Crew. Through Muma’s “Transitive Overwatch Property”… that leaves HSL close to the bottom of the pile.

Even so, this team will not go quietly. So long as Mikaël “Hidan” Da Silva breathes, the team he’s on will have clutch potential. His experience on Misfits, Luminosity, and the first iteration of Skyfoxes has made him one of the most well-traveled players in the European scene. Another quietly powerful pick for HSL is Progi, who impressed as Team Germany’s main tank in the World Cup group stages. Keep an eye on him as HSL face We Have Org on Saturday.

 

Osh-Tekk Warriors

Roster Changes – None

As you might guess from the tweet above, the Osh-Tekk Warriors are comprised largely of Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti players – a unique roster in the EU scene, but not an unwelcome one. OTW were knocked out in round one against Shu’s Money Crew, but fought their way back through the Losers’ bracket to secure fourth place and a Trials berth. Now they’ll have to prove that they belong in the big leagues. It won’t be easy – their first matchup is against British Hurricane.

 

We Have Org

Roster Changes

DPS: Dannedd, MrDragonLol, & Wayfast released; Spixez, Zerggy, IDXD signed

Tanks: ShonP signed

Flex: TwoIzZ released

Support: Kaas, Jogi, & Taang released; Karra, Kangakanga, & Daiya signed

 

A 1-4 finish last season means it’s time for a roster re-do for We Have Org. Their search for new talent bore impressive fruit – ShonP from 2017’s Team Israel, Daiya from Team UK, and some heavy hitting Open Division players like KangaKanga from Elo.Tick and Karra/IDXD from C8H11NO2 (or Dopamine, for the 99% of you who’ve never attended an organic chemistry lecture.)

This roster’s strongest legs are its support line and its tanks – which makes a lot of sense when the meta frequently forces you to bring in three apiece. Don’t sleep on their DPS line, though – Spoxez has experience with Mosaic Esports and Young and Beautiful, and Zerggy and IDXD are good, if a bit green. Look for them to step up for their team when WHO faces HSL Esports on Saturday.

 

Copenhagen Flames

Roster Changes

Tank: Nerfdd and Molf1g out; SuperPlouk and Hayko signed

DPS: naGGa and Danye out; Hqrdest and Flippy signed

Support: Ding and Graceful out; Lilbow and Baud signed

 

Remember how I said We Have Org chose to retool their roster in the wake of their second-to-last finish last season? The Copenhagen Flames have taken that philosophy and run with it. No one survived their 1-4 finish, but this new roster may show us an entirely different scoreline by the time Trials are done.

Flippy, Baud, SuperPlouk, Hqrdest, and Lilbow all hail from the now-defunct Contenders EU champions Eagle Gaming, and Hayko was (until recently) playing for 6nakes, who finished fourth overall. That kind of synergy and past experience doesn’t come cheap, but the payoff could be huge if CPH can manage to keep their Frenchmens’ momentum going. Keep an eye on this team as they go into their first match vs. Tea and Biscuits on Saturday.

 

British Hurricane

Roster Changes

Coach: Shifty released; Elbion signed as analyst

Support: CrusaDe released

 

The Hurricane, despite the innate volume their name might imply, have been pretty quiet lately. In my eyes, that’s a good sign. Hurricane went from Season 1 champs to a relegated, bottom-four team. They need to put their heads down and work.

Luckily for their fans, it seems that they agree- their offseason has been busy, according to their reddit AMA, with every player scrimming and trialing for OWL teams. This team is seasoned – they were Season 1 champions, after all – they just need to focus up and get back to doing what made them so good in the first place. Maybe the Head Coach change will help with that. Or maybe they just needed to be knocked down a peg or two to remember what they’re fighting for. No matter what, this will be a team to watch. Their first game pits them against Osh-Tekk Warriors on Saturday.

 

Bazooka Puppies

Roster Changes

Tank: Kolsti released; Milkyman signed

Flex: Hawk and Tek36 released; Mete signed

DPS: Mauz and Obling released; cRNKz and Zaprey signed

Support: Trispear and Insomniaq released; khave and sab signed

 

Last. Place. 0-5. A total of six map wins over the entire Contenders season. Bazooka Puppiez are a team that’s shuffled its roster more than you blinked while reading this sentence. They desperately need some consistency – and who knows? This roster could be the one that sticks. The pups have pulled on past synergies between Team Germany members Joshua “cRNKz” Santana and Metehan “Mete” Aksüt, as well as former 6nakes players like Nikolaj “Zaprey” Ian Moyes and Kristian “khave” Have. It could be the fresh start this team needs – but only time and their gameplay will tell. A positive: there’s nowhere to go but up for these guys!

 

 

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1 comment

EU Contenders Preview: The King is Dead, Long Live the King • The Game Haus November 17, 2018 at 6:00 am

[…] the other end of the roster cohesion spectrum lies Bazooka Puppiez. I’ve mentioned before that this team switches things up frequently – mostly because their best players are often […]

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